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Messages - T. Durden

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21
i have a friend at UCLA law who just finished her 1L year there with a near 4.0. she was unable to land a SA gig, though was able to find a good summer judicial clerkship. i think that once 2L OCI rolls around, she should be fine. note that isn't so much an indictment of UCLA as it is of the current state of the job market. simply stated, firms are not hiring [and if you're a 2L SA now you better keep your fingers crossed; the days of the 100% offer rate are a thing of the past]

22
well, the dean said it pretty well:

"Dear X,


I am delighted that you have made your first seat deposit and that you will be joining us in August 2009. The class of which you will be a member promises to be the strongest in the history of GW Law.


You may be aware that this year our ranking by U.S. News and World Report fell from 20 to 28. I, like most law school deans, believe that such rankings systems are fundamentally flawed and that students should not give any one factor, including commercial rankings, undue emphasis when making the important decision of which law school to attend. I cannot avoid the fact, however, that for many individuals the U.S. News rankings play an important role in the law school selection process. For this reason, I am writing to share my views concerning GW Law’s placement in this year’s U.S. News rankings.




First and foremost, I want you to know that the only changes at GW Law during the past year have been for the better and have enhanced the opportunities for success that our students enjoy. Among the factors that I believe an applicant should carefully consider when choosing which law school to attend are depth and breadth of curricular and clinical offerings; internship and placement opportunities; talents and academic achievements of the student body; quality of teaching and scholarship; the spirit and cohesiveness of the community; strength and commitment of the alumni network; and reputation of the institution among legal scholars and practitioners. In each of these areas in the past year, GW Law has remained steady or improved.




So what explains our U.S. News ranking? The answer is a change not in our law school, but in their methodology. In prior years, U.S. News did not rank part-time programs or include statistics for part-time classes in its overall school rankings. This year, the magazine created a new ranking for part-time programs. This new part-time ranking compares part-time programs with part-time programs. In this ranking GW came out #2 in the country. There is not, however, a similar ranking that compares full-time programs with full-time programs. Part-time median LSAT and GPA scores were, for the first time, combined with full-time scores to determine a school’s overall ranking. This change had an impact on the rankings for some law schools that have large part-time programs, including GW. Had U.S. News compared full-time programs with full-time programs, GW Law’s overall ranking would have been higher.




GW Law has had a part-time program for more than 100 years, and it is a program in which we take a great deal of pride. Unlike the full-time program, the part-time program serves as its primary constituency a unique group of individuals who live and work in the D.C. metropolitan area. The applicant pools for our full- and part-time programs are quite different in some key respects. Our full-time applicants come from around the globe, and the majority either has not yet been in the workforce on a full-time basis or has worked full time for only 1 or 2 years following college. By contrast, our part-time students typically have been in the workforce for a number of years. Through their extraordinary professional achievements they bring great richness to our law school community. In many cases, the greatest strengths of our part-time students are not reflected in their undergraduate grade point averages or LSAT scores, but rather in the diversity of their experiences. And, each year, our part-time students continue to achieve positions at the top of their class alongside their full-time colleagues. Graduates of our part-time program include present and former U.S. senators, federal and state court judges, a former U.S. attorney general, and many other leaders of the bench and bar.




Until this year, U.S. News apparently had recognized the uniqueness of part-time law students and had allowed law schools to operate these valuable programs free from the pressures of numerical rankings. Given the weight many prospective students place on commercial rankings, I fear that law schools will now be forced to reevaluate the way in which they historically have admitted applicants to part-time programs. I fervently hope that those schools that have served this special community of students will continue to do so without their efforts being diminished by the pressure to maintain LSAT and GPA medians for ranking purposes.




When viewed over time, it is clear that most law schools’ U.S. News rankings move either up or down on a regular basis, and, additionally, that the magazine periodically changes the methodology it uses to rank law schools. Resulting sudden and sometimes dramatic changes in rankings obviously do not reflect sudden and dramatic changes in reality. I can assure you that, regardless of rankings, the national and international reputation of our institution will continue to prosper and that we will maintain our commitment to serving all of our students.




As I mentioned above, the only changes that have taken place at GW Law are positive ones. To name a few:



* Our fall 2009 application volume increased by 8.5% and the fall 2009 admitted applicant pool is the strongest in GW Law history.


* We have increased scholarship and grant funds by more than 50% in the past three years.


* One of our graduates currently is clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court and another GW Law graduate will begin his clerkship on the Court next fall. In the past 6 years, 5 GW Law graduates have been selected for Supreme Court clerkships.


* GW Law continues to rank among the very top law schools placing graduates in the 250 largest U.S. law firms.


* We continue to expand co-curricular opportunities for our students, such as the new Journal of Energy and Environmental Law.


* We have further strengthened our commitment to public interest by creating the position of associate dean for public service/public interest.


* We are increasing opportunities for students interested in international law. Most recently the Law School established the prestigious Gruber Foundation International Law Fellowship, which funds a student to clerk for the International Court of Justice at the Hague.




As always, please let our Dean of Admissions, Anne Richard (arichard@law.gwu.edu), or me know if you have questions or if we may be of assistance as you prepare to begin your legal studies.



I look forward to seeing you in August.



Frederick M. Lawrence


Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law


The George Washington University Law School


Washington, DC"

23
from another thread and i'll leave it at that:

"i understand what USNWR is trying to do but this is scorched earth. i'll put it like this: a school like GW with t15-17 median admit stats and t18 NLJ250 placement will *have* to react in some form or fashion as the new ranking will adversely impact its ability to both place its current students and recruit students of equal or superior caliber. so what recourse does GW have? should it stop gaming its #ers? it never did game its numbers to begin with. the FT class of '11 is the same size that the GW FT division has historically been; ~510 or students. all 510 students in this FT division contribute to the 167 / 3.75 medians. the same theory applies to the FT employment stats. so why the drop? well, the answer is simple: the night school.

if there is any recourse to be taken, it now lies with the status of the PT division. that's it. USNWR has overreacted in a major way and now the status of virtually every PT dept in the country will have to be reconsidered. it's unfortunate that a 3rd rate pub like us news has the power to shape the system in such a way.

http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/law/LawBasics.aspx?iid=1035863

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61206 "

24
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: WTF Rankings
« on: April 23, 2009, 06:29:03 PM »
I think that San Diego's leap was pretty impressive.  I wonder if their part time program factored in there. 

All the more reason that this list appears suspect; USD would have expected a similar drop given the incorporation of the PT program details

It seems semi-bizarre to me that a program (GW, with Fordham being similarly situated) with the 13th or 14th highest median admission #ers in the nation (167, 3.75) and the 18th highest NLJ 250 placement by % and 6th by total # is being bumped to 28 by Indiana, Iowa ... William and Mary?!?! It makes sense if (and only if) USNWR factored in PT #ers but apparently this is not the case; USD jumps by how many spots? Something is wrong here.

So will we find out in two days that TLS pwned us all?  ???  lol

hah .. I admit that it seems unlikely. I think that the more likely scenario is that USNWR has officially jumped the shark ;)

It's official  >:(
lol

haha apparently so

i understand what USNWR is trying to do but this is scorched earth. i'll put it like this: a school like GW with t15-17 median admit stats and t18 NLJ250 placement will *have* to react in some form or fashion as the new ranking will adversely impact its ability to both place its current students and recruit students of equal or superior caliber. so what recourse does GW have? should it stop gaming its #ers? it never did game its numbers to begin with. the FT class of '11 is the same size that the GW FT division has historically been; ~510 or students. all 510 students in this FT division contribute to the 167 / 3.75 medians. the same theory applies to the FT employment stats. so why the drop? well, the answer is simple: the night school.

if there is any recourse to be taken, it now lies with the status of the PT division. that's it. USNWR has overreacted in a major way and now the status of virtually every PT dept in the country will have to be reconsidered. it's unfortunate that a 3rd rate pub like us news has the power to shape the system in such a way.

http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/law/LawBasics.aspx?iid=1035863

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61206

25
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: WTF Rankings
« on: April 21, 2009, 01:44:00 PM »
haha if that were the case GW would be t18 (if not higher), not t, uh, 28. for the past 2 years, GW FT medians: 167, 3.75. fordham is right there with GW is terms of admit stats. apparently USNWR has adopted a new formula that factors in a host of other variables from the PT programs which explains the 28 and 30 rankings. seems a bit ridiculous to me. why penalize the FT programs with PT data? whatever, hardly matters. GW and Fordham still placed 43-45% of their graduating classes into NLJ 250 firms last year; this is the only stat that really matters.

26
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: WTF Rankings
« on: April 20, 2009, 12:27:22 PM »
I think that San Diego's leap was pretty impressive.  I wonder if their part time program factored in there. 

All the more reason that this list appears suspect; USD would have expected a similar drop given the incorporation of the PT program details

It seems semi-bizarre to me that a program (GW, with Fordham being similarly situated) with the 13th or 14th highest median admission #ers in the nation (167, 3.75) and the 18th highest NLJ 250 placement by % and 6th by total # is being bumped to 28 by Indiana, Iowa ... William and Mary?!?! It makes sense if (and only if) USNWR factored in PT #ers but apparently this is not the case; USD jumps by how many spots? Something is wrong here.

So will we find out in two days that TLS pwned us all?  ???  lol

hah .. I admit that it seems unlikely. I think that the more likely scenario is that USNWR has officially jumped the shark ;)

27
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: WTF Rankings
« on: April 20, 2009, 12:22:01 PM »
I think that San Diego's leap was pretty impressive.  I wonder if their part time program factored in there. 

All the more reason that this list appears suspect; USD would have expected a similar drop given the incorporation of the PT program details

It seems semi-bizarre to me that a program (GW, with Fordham being similarly situated) with the 13th or 14th highest median admission #ers in the nation (167, 3.75) and the 18th highest NLJ 250 placement by % and 6th by total # is being bumped to 28 by Indiana, Iowa ... William and Mary?!?! It makes sense if (and only if) USNWR factored in PT #ers but apparently this is not the case; USD jumps by how many spots? Something is wrong here.

28
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: WTF Rankings
« on: April 20, 2009, 11:26:13 AM »
Something seems off. GW and Fordham were clearly victimized by their PT programs (how else would you legitimize such a drop in the face of their employment #ers and median admission #ers?) while GT was seemingly unaffected ... I'm calling shenaningans ;)

29
California Western / Re: Cal Western or Thomas J…
« on: April 17, 2009, 05:51:13 PM »
Cal Western is LOOSING its status in the legal market

this thread is pure LSD gold

30
3L job search / Re: Bummed out
« on: March 29, 2009, 11:01:31 AM »
I (stupidly) chose not to participate in OCI my 2L year

you dug your own grave; no pity

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